Comments: Gavin Ashenden "consecrated as missionary bishop"

Informal and yet episcopal. An interesting mix! How does that work?

Posted by Andrew Lightbown at Wednesday, 27 September 2017 at 5:06pm BST

Wonderful to see a (former) fellow curate who has come so far !

Life is full of interest-- and no where more so than the C of E !*

* forgive any slight tendency to over-egging --speakin of which ....

Posted by Laurie Roberts at Wednesday, 27 September 2017 at 5:30pm BST

I think there might be an opportunity emerging for someone to develop an app to connect you with a missionary bishop who matches your theological pecadillos. Bishpr...? Uberbish...?

Posted by Kelvin Holdsworth at Wednesday, 27 September 2017 at 6:02pm BST

Simon, I wonder when we reach the point where it becomes pointless to give so much attention to these people?

Posted by Jonathan Clatworthy at Wednesday, 27 September 2017 at 6:16pm BST

“I will oversee anybody who asks. I have a trail of people coming to my door asking for support, spiritual direction and advice. "

Sounds rather like a cult of personality doesn't it?

Posted by Andrew Godsall at Wednesday, 27 September 2017 at 7:25pm BST

Well, Andrew, it will be interesting to see whether it really does work. It certainly seems to be outside of the 'orthodoxy that Mr Ashenden and his cohorts claim to represent. You cannot claim 'orthodoxy' and then presume to start up your own outfit - outside of the established Church.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 27 September 2017 at 9:27pm BST

An odd idea of episcopacy. No diocese, clergy, people, or jurisdiction. What is this group anyway? Surely there can't be a dearth of Episcopi vagantes from GAFCON, ACNA, the TAC, and others wandering around.

Posted by Richard Grand at Wednesday, 27 September 2017 at 9:29pm BST

What a loss to the Church of England of a man of such intelligence and insight.

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 27 September 2017 at 10:24pm BST

According to the Wiki article on this group, it has only three congregations. But an archbishop and primate nonetheless. Apparently it's a schism of a schism. Even more so than the joke about ACNA, it apparently believes in the episcopacy of all believers.

Posted by dr.primrose at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 12:20am BST

I suppose Fundamentalist U.S. people are paying the stipends of these new (un)orthodox Vagantes? I do hope the hierarchy of the C. of E. will make some sort of Statement about their sheep-stealing propensity in their jurisdiction. It does seem that Purple Shirts are 2-a-penny among the schismatics.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 12:26am BST

According to Wikipedia: "At one time, the XnEC in the United States counted parishes in Mississippi, South Carolina, California, Arizona, Texas and other states, but at present its parishes are two in Washington State and one in Florida. The current Archbishop and Primate is the Most Reverend Theodore C. Casimes. XnEC's Bishop Co-Adjutor is the Rt. Rev. Dr. Tim Klerekoper"
Founded in 2002, it was the result of a split from another body which left the Episcopal Church in 1992.

Posted by Tom Downs at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 3:15am BST

Maybe someone can enlighten me: is it now required that one has episcopal orders before one can offer advice, support or spiritual direction? I thought it was only necessary to seek irregular consecration if one planned to make your own little sect self-sustaining and have a veneer of legitimacy?

Posted by Jo at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 6:46am BST

A conservative evangelical sporting a zuccetto! Hasn't taken him long to get the gear.Perhaps like Cardinal Burke he will wear the cappa magna.Lots of potential for an extension of Peter Ansons "Bishops at Large"

Posted by Perry Butler at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 7:48am BST

Kelvin, I love the idea of uberbish, with a little map showing the various bishops moving around your area (in the form of a tiny mitre, with different colours to show different theological views) so you can summon one which matches your needs, together with an estimated time of arrival and their fee. It's the perfect app for the post-modern church!

Posted by Charles Clapham at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 7:56am BST

Perry, yet I too noticed the purple zucchetto, can't imagine the Bishop of Maidstone wearing one of those! Mind, the last time Justin was at the Western Wall in Jerusalem he covered his head with one. However, I think that the cappa magna will be a train too far but wonder about a purple biretta (with 4 wings, as Gavin has a Doctorate) and maybe an exceedingly tall mitre. I look forward to his next appearance on "Anglicans Unscripted" when further details may well be revealed.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 8:50am BST

Extraordinary. One can only speculate about what prompted him to take this step and it's probably better not to do it in public here. But the history of this sort of 'splitism', which mirrors the 'splitism' of Marxist groups can only result in churches consisting of one person who is their own primate, bishop, priest, congregation and so on ad nauseam. And everyone is right!

Posted by Richard Ashby at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 9:32am BST

Here's a guy who is no longer in the CofE, now a Bishop of a church not in the CofE.

Why all the sturm und drang? Why should anyone care about something that does not pertain to their context?

Posted by crs at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 11:37am BST

As a long-time science-fiction fan, I am reminded of a long-standing joke in that community:

One science-fiction fan is a loner, two science-fiction fans are a club, three science-fiction fans is a schism.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 11:38am BST

"Here's a guy who is no longer in the CofE, now a Bishop of a church not in the CofE.

Why all the sturm und drang? Why should anyone care about something that does not pertain to their context?"

Christopher: is it fair to say you still care about Mark Lawrence - a man no longer Anglican and a bishop of a Church not in the Anglican Communion?

The reason to observe what goes on with Gavin Ashenden is that he will seek to offer those in the C of E something he thinks they will get better from him.

There are a lot of parallels between the two people I mention here aren't there.....

Posted by Andrew Godsall at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 1:24pm BST

In Gavin Ashenden, the CofE has lost another of its best men. Those remaining in high positions are beginning to look rather mediocre in learning and ability.

Posted by Paul Waddington at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 1:40pm BST

In Gavin Ashenden, the CofE has lost another of its best men..."

That's OK, as CoE is slowly filling up with spectacular women.

Posted by Cynthia at Thursday, 28 September 2017 at 8:28pm BST

On Gavin Ashenden's frequent appearances on Anglicans Unscripted, most recently he appears to be filmed in what looks like a wooden shed - I wonder, is that where his cathedra is located - in a garden shed? I know that architect fellow from the North East hosts a programme on amazing shed interiors but I've yet to come across a cathedral garden shed. They have a cardboard cathedral in New Zealand and, of course, the original tabernacle which housed the Ark of the Covenant was a tent in the wilderness but a cathedral shed is surely a highly imaginative innovation and the upkeep of which will be significantly less than say that of Lincoln cathedral.
Still, come what may, I wish Gavin well in his new ministry, he always comes across to me as highly intelligent and in possession of a very happy and lively disposition.
I repeat my earlier assertion that he is indeed a great loss to the Established Church. The mantra comes true once again - he didn't leave the Church of England, the Church of England left him!

Posted by Father David at Friday, 29 September 2017 at 7:50am BST

The app idea is brilliant, though keeping it updated might be a challenge.

Posted by Savi Hensman at Friday, 29 September 2017 at 8:46am BST

The great Pratchett once observed (in 'Witches Abroad'?)that "the natural size of a coven is one...." I'm not insinuating warlock-like tendencies, btw, just observing a common phenomenon

Posted by David Rowett at Friday, 29 September 2017 at 1:22pm BST

"-Old Gandolf with his paltry onion-stone,
Put me where I may look at him!True peach,
Rosy and flawless: How I earned the prize! "

-Robert Browning ( The Bishop Orders His Tomb)

Posted by Rod Gillis at Friday, 29 September 2017 at 3:36pm BST

I have been given to understand that this consecration took place in 2013 and not recently as might be the way this news is being reported. Does anyone else apart from those of my Facebook friends who say that they were told this by Gavin Ashenden themselves have any information about it?

Posted by Simon Butler at Friday, 29 September 2017 at 7:17pm BST

We keep hearing how intelligent, etc., Mr. Ashenden is and that he is one of the CofE's "best men" (whatever that means), even to the extent of ascribing mediocrity to those who are not Gavin Ashenden. The whole CofE, we hear, is accused of "leaving him", because he's so important that the whole CofE should just revolve around him for eternity. One of the "best and brightest" seems to see no problem not only in leaving the CofE (which he is free to do), but to join a group that is a schism of a schism in order to receive episcopal orders. Not that he cares about or has been part of that ecclesial body-he just wants the magic hands so he can maybe a bishop and make it all about him. Very peculiar for someone who supposedly was without peer and was seen as "the best". Perhaps not all was what it seemed.

Posted by Richard Grand at Friday, 29 September 2017 at 9:30pm BST

"I look forward to his next appearance on "Anglicans Unscripted" when further details may well be revealed.

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 28 September 2017 "

I always thought the title of that video outfit to be a bit of an oxymoron. I would have thought a more accurate title might be: Un-Anglican scripted.

Do people here realise that, if H.M. The Queen had recommended this fellow for a bishopric, the C. of E. might still be saddled with him? Best where he has landed up, I reckon - as long as he doesn't bring his mitre to the U.K.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 30 September 2017 at 12:25am BST

"that is a schism of a schism"

As a global claim do you know how ridiculous this sounds?

The man in question was consecrated in a segment of anglicanism other than the CofE. Of course anglicans in general are regarded by other Christian bodies as themselves schismatic. The previous PB of TEC defrocked clergy who were and remain in CofE Orders. You have to look at the world from a fairly idiosyncratic point of view to speak of schism so globally and self-evidently. Are Methodists english schismatics?

Posted by cseitz at Saturday, 30 September 2017 at 12:21pm BST

http://www.virtueonline.org/former-queens-chaplain-consecrated-missionary-bishop-anglicans-uk-and-europe
says that Gavin was indeed consecrated on 17 October 2013, publicly, and that he's been a suffragan bishop in the Channel Islands and France since then. Only now, it seems, is he "in a position to make known to the members of the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion, and to the British public in general, his status as a Bishop of the Catholic and Apostolic Church."

I wish him well personally but this all strikes me as a bit odd. I wasn't aware that Church of England clergy in good standing are supposed to do this sort of thing. Has his status for the last four years been a sort of ecclesiological "Don't ask, don't tell"?

Posted by Bernard at Saturday, 30 September 2017 at 12:48pm BST

Father Ron, as both Kevin Kallsen and George Conger are both Episcopalian priests from across the pond I wonder why they opted for Anglicans Unscripted rather than Episcopalians Unscripted?

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 30 September 2017 at 1:52pm BST

" The man in question was consecrated in a segment of anglicanism "

Christopher: which segment of Anglicanism? In what way is it Anglican? Does it comfort in any way shape or form to the Chicago-Lambeth quadrilateral? Or Is this just another new inventing ones own bits of ecclesiastical polity again?

Posted by Andrew Godsall at Saturday, 30 September 2017 at 1:58pm BST

I can understand someone joining either of the flying bishops' clubs in the C of E. I would respect Dr Ashenden's having done that. I can understand someone leaving the C of E for, say, the Catholic church (an attractive option for me), or the Baptists, or the Pentcostals or whatever. Dr Ashenden, however, seems merely to be chasing purple millinery. Let him and his ilk have no more publicity.

Posted by Stanley Monkhouse at Saturday, 30 September 2017 at 2:23pm BST

"Christian Episcopal Church". Never heard of these guys until I read about them here at TA. They bill themselves in Canada as a "national" church. Readers might check out their websites, if you like sectarian farce.


And with my apologies to Samuel Hoffenstein
Your little hands,
Your little feet,
Your little clubhouse
Oh, God, how sweet!

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 30 September 2017 at 3:04pm BST

@cseitz: This was not my original comment (schism of a schism)-I borrowed it. It is annoying that you picked up on that and not on the overall point of my comment. Arguments about who is in schism are interminable and fruitless. My point is that he did accept episcopal ordination from a group outside the CofE and Anglican Communion. So he is "not in communion with the church that originally ordained him. The validity of orders is irrelevant to my point. Any reference to this group says that they are a small group that separated from the "continuing Anglican" movement that came out of the 1976 St. Louis Convention groups that left the Episcopal Church in the U.S., due to the ordination of women. Interesting that he went to the U.S., for his epsiscopal order. The "Christian Episcopal Church" has more bishops than congregations. You can call these groups whatever you like if the word "schism" offends you. You have a point that, according to someone else, every church, including the Roman and Orthodox are in schism with someone. This, owever, does not excuse the peculiar and irrational choice made by Mr. Ashenden, supposedly a "leading light" of Anglicanism who may be neither of those things.

Posted by Richard Grand at Saturday, 30 September 2017 at 3:40pm BST

Schism that happened generations ago and where blame can legitimately be found on both sides is a little different from stalking off in a huff within living memory because you're incapable of coexisting with people who disagree with you.

Posted by Jo at Saturday, 30 September 2017 at 4:47pm BST

Simon Butler..according to Virtue on line Gavin Ashenden was indeed consecrated in October 2013.

Posted by Perry Butler at Sunday, 1 October 2017 at 8:22am BST

Episcopal congregationalism......that's what it is...tiny flocks, and a multiplicity of bishops.

Posted by robert ian williams at Sunday, 1 October 2017 at 5:36pm BST
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